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Labeca's Guide To London
By Louise Oliphant, Contemporary Art BA (Hons), International Journalism MA
Creating clothes for the travelling, globalised women of today wouldn’t be right without some travelling experience in many parts of the world. From exploring popular tourist sites to the more niche hidden gems of cities and towns, we thought sharing our stories and knowledge from diverse places would be the perfect way to get to know the Labeca team. Since London is the home of Labeca, where our fashion journey lives and grows, we’d like to think our expertise on London coffee shops, clothing boutiques or where to find the best places to wine and dine would be an interesting place to start. And as national lockdown restrictions ease in the UK, we hope our London hot spot recommendations will give you an insight into where to visit next time you’re in London!
Continue reading and you’ll find yourself booking your next day out to the Capital city!
1. The Labeca team couldn’t live without coffee. Where do we love to stop for our daily coffee fix?
[The Connaught Pâtisserie, The Connaught, Carlos Pl, London W1K 2AL]
Whether you’re starting your day or taking a quick coffee break amongst a busy schedule, we understand how coffee can be that much needed revival. Though, finding that good coffee is a satisfaction we all certainly enjoy, especially when you’re amongst the hustle and bustle of London’s streets. Though, as big as the city is, we’ve managed to discover some of the best coffee spots (our favourites anyway), from across central London to make sure you can get your daily coffee no matter where you find yourself. If we’re in Fitzrovia, for example, near London’s west end, Kiss the Hippo is a great specialty coffee brand serving quality, fresh roasted coffee. Even better, it’s a totally carbon negative coffee company, meaning for every coffee you buy, they offset the carbon they produce to build a climate-saving #KissTheHippoForest all over the world. When finding ourselves in Westminster's Belgravia district, then Café Kitsune is the place to go. Located in the rooftop retreat of Pantechnicon, this Japanese inspired café serves fresh coffee on its picturesque street terrace. For a more luxurious coffee sip, Mayfair homes both Marchesi 1824, an international chain of coffee and pastry boutiques and Hotel Connaught’s Patisserie, where we particularly love their iced coffee drinks during the summer months.
2. Where are our favourite fashion places to shop and explore?
[Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1, London]
What is a London trip without returning home with your arms full with shopping bags? As one of the greatest fashion cities, it would seem somewhat erroneous to do so. With so much choice and variety in shops, stores and boutiques, we suggest an initial place to begin your shopping venture would undoubtedly be the large department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges. As timeless homes to luxury fashion, designer brands and even personal shopping experiences, these department stores, whether located on the popular shopping street of either Oxford St or Brompton Road, are more than just your average shop.
Being not only apparel appreciators, but homeware enthusiasts, we love the independent boutiques of Elizabeth Street that provide a more unique, bespoke retail experience. In the heart of London’s Belgravia and offering an array of products from Chesterfield sofas to couture bags and beautifully packaged champagne cupcakes, even if you don’t make a purchase, this stylish shopping street will regardless be a memorable visit. And if you do visit, be sure to call into one of our newly discovered favourites, a luxury homeware boutique called Summer Hill and Bishop. And it goes without saying, that not far, just off the bustling highstreet of Sloane Square and the recently welcomed Pavilion Road, is Curated Crowd. Committed to turning customers into patrons of independent design, this marketplace is a brand Labeca have actually collaborated with. As one of their represented brands, our Labeca SS21 clothing is available for in-person browsing in their Chelsea store. In fact, you can find our popular Portofino Yellow and Lilac Knit Cardigans; our favoured go-to comfy throwovers for stress-free shopping days.
3. What’s our favourite street, park and building in London?
[Prince's Gate Mews, Knightsbridge, London]
Not only Labeca but the majority of aesthetic fanatics alike, seem to have a current soft spot for London mews. Perhaps in accordance with the spring-time revival of pastel shades or the on-trend style of bright colours, a row of colourfully painted houses, their blooming plant baskets and all-round quirky individuality have become somewhat profoundly Instagrammable. From Bathurst Mews in Bayswater and Spear Mews in Earls Court, to Ennismore Gardens Mews in Knightsbridge and Prince’s Gate Mews in Knightsbridge (our personal favourite), these residential streets of architectural rainbow buildings are sure to brighten up your day out in London. Still, if you find greenery more visually pleasing, then Mount Street Gardens is the ideal secluded park spot for a mid-summer’s day picnic or quick coffee drink stop off. Designated as one of Mayfair’s hidden gems, this public park, whilst a beautiful, floral escape also contains some interesting historical stories. Enclosed within the park’s picturesque red, telephone entry ways is the Grosvenor Chapel. Why not stumble across this hidden London treasure and learn a little about some of it’s often overlooked heritage?
4. Which restaurants do we recommend for a perfect evening spent with friends?
[SUMI, 157 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2RS]
As our eventful day out in London turns to a jubilant evening with friends, going out for a well-recommended meal can be the perfect round-up to a fun-felt London trip. Whilst there’s almost too much choice in speciality foods and dining locations, from the humming streets of Soho’s bistros and bars to the lavish avenues of Mayfair’s Michelin stars, no matter your taste or preferred dish you’ll find your ideal dining experience somewhere. SUMI London in Notting Hill is the perfect smart-casual place to eat, and our go-to food favourite. Mirroring Labeca’s flair for both comfortability and elegance, this traditionally Japanese inspired restaurant offers a unique sensory experience synonymous with sushi master Chef Endo Kazutoshi’s signature cuisine whilst being seated in a relaxed setting.
5. Which hotel would we suggest staying at to get the full London experience?
[The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Pl, London W1K 2AL]
A hotel stopover can turn your day-trip into a weekend getaway. Everyone can appreciate a good-nights-sleep, of course. As one of our ultimate staycation recommendations then, The Connaught Hotel, in the heart of Mayfair will offer a truly memorable abide. Effortlessly elegant, the traditionally old-style building of The Connaught is refurbished by renowned designers such as Guy Oliver and David Collins to bring together a charm of past and present. Converging on Labeca’s love for contemporary comforts, whilst evoking the classical heritage of London’s architecture, this hotel, despite being set apart from the bustle of central London, is certainly immersed in its culture. If you’re lovers of fine art as much as we are at Labeca, something that often inspires our designs, then the Connaught’s dedication to fine arts as well as the finer things in life is sure to spark your creative attention.
As we’ve guided you through our much-loved London places, from your tastebud pleasing morning coffee to your sleep satisfied hotel lodging, travel with Labeca in both comfort and style whilst enjoying our city obsessed stop offs.